In our second iPhone 5 case encounter we're taking a good look at the Workmate by Cygnett. This is another case that offers up tough protection against scratches and of course, accidental drops in the hands of clumsy and careless individuals. With a thinner iPhone, comes thinner protective cases with the same degree of impact protection some of us are in need of. Like the iPhone 5 UAG Composite case we had the pleasure of reviewing, the $25 Workmate case for the iPhone 5 is yet another slimmed down iPhone 4 ported case only with a thorough redesign we seriously adore. Be sure to check out our full review down below!
Observe Cygnett's easy to open case packaging, it's really simple yet wonderful to unbox. Inside you'll find a screen protector of a decent quality and what we call a one-time cleaning cloth. Notice the this case is compatible with what Cygnett though the iPhone 5 would be called the "New iPhone"? We really don't care if Cygnett's Workmate case was made and designed even before Apple announced the iPhone 5 to the world. It's a spot on case that fits and performs as it should. We expected this with all of the solid leaks months before the iPhone 5's official debut, and apparently Cygnett wasn't the only one making cases before even having the iPhone 5 at hand.
Moving onwards! The Workmate case is a two-piece hybrid case made to have two layers of protection goodness that when put together, creates one solid case for your iPhone 5 to slide on in. It can be had in this beautiful olive green color or in a slate blue color. Unfortunately Cygnett hasn't opted to add any additional color options, which is a shame. Though this olive green with a bit of black protruding thru the side and back of the Workmate case really does gives off the impression of an army, tactical-like rugged case we really think looks just as good as the badass cases we've recently reviewed such as the UAG case.
The interior is obviously entirely made out of soft and shock absorbing silicone that'll also insure your iPhone 5 doesn't get scuffed nor scratched inside. The green hard polycarbonate shell serves as the exterior layer to keep a level of rigidity and protect against hard hitting impacts. That isn't it however, because the Workmate is designed with the silicone layer protruding thru the hard shell in order to prevent the case from sliding around when put on a table as well as to elevate the rear from getting scuffed. The Workmate is the sort of case that's built to be durable and it's no surprise given the combination of materials used. It'll endure the daily abuse no questions asked.
When you set your iPhone down, you'll hear a muffled thud thanks to the protruding silicone feet instead of an unpleasant plasticky hit. These are the small details we love to see in cases and it makes a considerable difference.
As for putting the case on, we found that it's easier to put the two layers of the Workmate together before installing the iPhone 5 into it than it is to add the layers separately onto the iPhone as you would with any two-piece hybrid case for some reason. We're not complaining though as it's really easy to simply pop in the iPhone 5 into the assembled Workmate case with little to no effort.
What we didn't like seeing is the overly soft silicone layer used in the Workmate. The problem silicone causes instead of using a much firmer TPU material is that the silicone layer wants to flex and stretch all too easily. You can see that when you put down pressure on the corners, top and bottom of the case. The silicone layer will easily slide off the iPhone, but it'll spring right back on. Fortunately, we don't see how this actually effects the use of the case and haven't run into any problems with the corners popping off with use. Not even when taking the case in and out of the pocket.
It'll be only a matter of time before the bottom side of the silicone will start to sag since silicone does tend to stretch overtime when subjected to heat. If only Cygnett designed the hard shell to reach and support the top and bottom sides of the silicone for a reinforced structural rigidity, we would deem this case near-perfect.
The Workmate case for the iPhone 5 covers up buttons with silicone yet they are fairly easy to press. The cutouts around the bottom are wide, however, the left side of the grille is partially obstructed due to the small cutout in the silicone layer. You would only be able to fit a slim 3.5mm plug into this cutout. Again, no issues with washed-out photos using the LED flash.
There's an ample amount of a lip around the front of the iPhone's screen that creates a great lay-on-the-table design to keep the screen elevated and protected against getting scratched should you lay your iPhone front side down or should you drop it.
There's something special about the Workmate that really enhances the feel of using the iPhone 5. The Workmate's hard shell is coated with a rubbery soft-touch finish and has a subtle contour that fits in the hand very comfortably. The grip this case provides is immense thanks to the mixture of materials. If you're worried about your iPhone 5 slipping out of your hands, the Workmate's amazing tactile grip will without a doubt keep it in your hand. Pair that with the slim profile and you've got a case that's a pleasure to use.
Cygnett's Workmate for the iPhone 5 is a case that ticks all our check boxes for a case that we would love to use. The Workmate is a great looking, well rounded drop protective case that will substantially enhance the grip on your iPhone 5 without looking or feeling unnecessarily bulky. We can highly recommend picking this up if you're looking for impact protection in a case that makes holding and using the iPhone 5 very comfortable due to its contoured, silky smooth textured exterior and slim design.